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Outrage as Mormons secretly baptise long dead Holocaust victims and parents of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal

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simon-weisenthalThe Mormon Church was forced to apologise today after members of the religion bizarrely performed posthumous baptisms into Mormonism of the dead Jewish parents of famed Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal.

The baptisms “by proxy” were performed last month in Mormon temples in Utah, Arizona and Idaho, according to the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organisation named after the man who hunted down more than 1,000 Nazi war criminals in the years following the Holocaust.  

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told Reuters the baptisms were “unacceptable,” adding that people who lost everyone and everything and were murdered for being Jewish during the Holocaust should not have their souls hijacked by another religion.  

The Mormon Church, formally called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, permits dead people to be baptised into the religion, with the belief that the dead person “in the next life” can then choose to accept or decline the baptism. In these baptisms, a current Church member is baptised on behalf of a dead person.  

Wiesenthal’s mother Rosa died at the Belzec concentration camp in Poland in 1942. His father Asher Wiesenthal died during World War One.  

Simon Wiesenthal died of natural causes in 1995.

The Church, in a written statement, put responsibility for the matter on a single Mormon who it said was disciplined for the actions.

The statement did not identify the person.

 A statement read: “We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the Church led to the inappropriate submission of these names. 

 “We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records.

“The policy of the Church is that members can request these baptisms only for their own ancestors. Proxy baptisms of Holocaust victims are strictly prohibited.”

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